In My Garden – High Summer

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

High summer is always a treat for the eyes and for the pollinators, and I’m starting this post with a special treat, purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).  It’s a lovely plant, but I’ve not been able to grow it before – it’s a favorite of the rabbits.  Every time I’ve planted one, it is gone the next day.  So what is different this year?  It’s in a large pot, higher than rabbits generally reach, and is surrounded by wire (see the lower left of the photo).  So far, so good, but rabbits are wily creatures and they may defeat this arrangement yet.

The pollinators are all over the garden. I’ve noticed there are several varieties, but I’m not proficient enough to identify them. Can you spot them?

Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
Sneezeweed (Helenium "Mardi Gras')
Sneezeweed (Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’)
Front: Anise hyssop (Agastache cultivar); Middle: St. John’s work (Hypericum spp.); Back: Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

Just emerging is the pink Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), which is abutting a False Indigo (Baptisia australis) that bloomed blue in late June.   With the milkweeds blooming, I have seen Monarch butterflies around, but have not managed to capture any with the camera yet.  (You will note I still have daylilies left – more on this in another post.) 

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

And finally in the woodland is the black cohosh (Actea racemosa).  This is the stunning picture I envisioned three years ago when I planted this grouping, inspired by a similar grouping at Garden in the Woods in Framingham.  Thanks to several years of growth and lots of rain this spring, these have expanded to 3-4′ across and have multiple spiky blooms per plant. I’m thrilled!

Black cohosh (Actea racemosa)

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